Subcontractor Investment Targets Aerospace Sector
Meeting the precision needs of its customers has seen a Huddersfield manufacturer make a number of large investments, including the acquisition of the latest CNC machine technology.
Thomas Brown Engineering, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2018, worked with the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) to install a new Hardinge Bridgeport XR1000, which will help it capitalise on three recent contract wins for the aerospace sector.
The company will use the additional power and torque provided by the GTW spindle to machine tough materials, while the Heidenhain TNC 640 control and Nikken 4th-axis rotary table are intended to increase accuracy, flexibility and repeatability.
In recent years, Thomas Brown Engineering has seen its turnover increase and new jobs created; the company’s workforce now stands at 20 people.
“We have always been big fans of Hardinge Bridgeport and the excellent performance the machines deliver, so it was no surprise when we updated our capabilities with the new XR1000,” explains Tom Brown, who founded the business in 1983 after serving an apprenticeship and working at a local firm. “Aerospace is a growing market for us following our AS9100 accreditation, and this helped us secure three important contracts which required more capacity and shorter lead times.”
He continues: “We spoke to ETG about our requirements and came up with the XR1000, specifying it with a Nikken 4th axis rotary table to give us the opportunity to produce more complex components. It is a decision that is already paying off, with some cycle times reduced by as much as 20%. This makes a major difference to our productivity.”
The machine also features a Blum TC50 spindle probe and ZX-Speed IR tool-setting probe.
About Hardinge, Inc.
Hardinge Inc. is a leading international provider of advanced metal-cutting solutions. Headquartered in Berwyn, PA, Hardinge Inc. offers a full spectrum of highly reliable CNC turning, milling, and grinding machines as well as technologically advanced workholding and machine tool accessories. The Hardinge Group has developed a strong global presence with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, and Asia.